Birthdate: January 18, 1863
Death Date: December 24, 1886
Plot Location: Section 50, Lot 17
She was “rapidly rising in public esteem,” “highly successful,” and “the coming great star of America.” Unfortunately, Lillie Hinton’s celebrity status lasted only seven years, cut short by pneumonia that took her life.
She was one of four daughters born in Macon, Mississippi, but this doctor’s daughter barely had a chance to develop a southern accent before her family moved north in 1870 and acquired a South Philly accent. She finished high school in 1879 specializing in elocution, the art of public speaking with correct gesture and delivery.
Lillie chose drama as her profession from pure love of the art. She quickly gained a reputation as a leading lady in several of the city’s theaters, as shown here. By the time she was 19 she had performed on stages throughout Europe.
In 1881 Dr. Louis Pasteur discovered a bacteria that was one of the most common causes of pneumonia, but there was little that could be done for the infection that settled in Lillie’s lungs toward the end of 1886. Although her father was a doctor, it was no less heartbreaking when her tour was cut short and she came home to die on Christmas Eve.
The crowd that assembled for her funeral required a number of police officers to maintain order. She was laid to rest in section 50 where today there is a small stone for her parents (which reads “Anna B. Hinton, 1832-1903” and “Dr. R.K. Hinton, 1830-1904”). Two of Lillie’’s three sisters are there as well, but a stone for Lillie has not yet been found.
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